On 16th July (less than a week after it happened) I posted a piece entitled “The ‘R’ word” in which I mentioned that the company I work for was “In Administration”.
As we are now nearly a month on from that day I thought I would share my experiences of this process with those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure.
I have already told how on “day 1” we were all called in to a meeting, told what was about to happen and divided into two groups, The Lost and The Saved! On that day I saw three of the Administration team – I have not seen those three since!
I have, however, seen a different one. He was managing the winding down of our Lincolnshire site and when I visited to sort out some routine computer problems I thought I would corner him and ask him a question that had been bothering me.
“When you send a team into a company like this, do you normally send in an I.T person to lock down the system so that no-one can delete data that you might need?”, I asked.
“Why would we need to do that?” he, in my opinion, rather naively replied.
I explained to him that my friend and I.T. Manager, Mike, had been sent home on the afternoon of “Black Friday” with no notice, and the promise that the Government would pay him his outstanding salary and his Redundancy Pay at some indeterminate date in the future. And no-one told me to disable his access to the computer network! It was not something I was going to do without instruction – that would have been disloyal!
Surely, I suggested, it was not beyond the realms of possibility that a person with a Wife, three children and a large mortgage to support might just feel the teensiest bit pissed off at having been put in that position. Then take into account that we are talking here of the person with the most extensive access to the company’s network and records and I felt that the Administrators could count themselves quite lucky that there was any data left on the following Monday!
After some thought he told me that his firm does not have such an I.T. person.
Quick as a flash (and with the short term nature of my own job firmly in mind) I replied with “Would you like one? – I’m available!”
He gave that little half-hearted laugh that people with no sense of humour use when they’re not sure whether you are joking or not, thereby killing the conversation.
On the Monday after the mass redundancies I had received instructions to completely disable the access for both Mike and HIS boss, the Finance Director and to change the Network Manager Account password. That felt a little strange!
Given the “efficiency” of our new masters, however, it took me well over two weeks to get from them the names of ALL the people across the company who they had made redundant – I suppose that being accountants by trade they only saw them as “cost savings” not people! I got around that by disabling the Remote Access privileges of anyone I thought had left. If they screamed about it I apologised and restored them!
This all means that as I sit here writing this I am I.T. Manager to three people in Lincolnshire and a further five (including me) in March. Not exactly the world’s biggest commercial empire!
Basically, that’s what it’s like being managed by a firm of accountants – no-one tells you anything even if you need to know and even if you ask, setting out your reasons they still don’t REALLY want to tell you!
Plus, the remaining personnel are treated like dirt by the Senior Management team as if it’s our fault they are having to be there!
So it’s all much the same as before the Administrators arrived really!